Visualization Skills in Engineering Education: Issues, Developments, and Enhancement

Visualization Skills in Engineering Education: Issues, Developments, and Enhancement

Dayana Farzeeha Ali (Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Malaysia), Arun Patil (Amity University Rajasthan, India) and Mohd Safarin Nordin (Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Malaysia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-0243-4.ch011


This chapter provides a comprehensive literature overview related to visualization skills development methods, theories related to cognitive development, and use of graphics in learning and teaching engineering drawing subject. In addition, the skills of visualization components and test instruments for testing these skills are also discussed. The description in this chapter begins with an overview of the curriculum in the context of engineering drawings for Higher Education Institutions. Further understanding of visualization skills in engineering, especially elaborated earlier by some scholars and researchers in the science of visual, spatial, and cognitive psychology, are also discussed in this chapter.
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Visualization In Engineering Drawing

Engineering drawing is a way to communicate graphically. It covers technical regulations or requirements of drawing and visual skills (Olkun, 2003). Visualization is a skills or capabilities naturally born, however Wiley (1989) and Sorby and Baartmans (2003) observe that the visualization skills can be enhanced by explaining students with lower visualization ability and then trained using specific training modules to enhance their visualization capabilities in engineering drawing. According to Sorby (2007), the uses of multimedia with workbooks have shown positive impact in developing and enhancing three-dimensional spatial skills of the student.

There is clear evidence that visualizing three-dimensional objects and manipulating them in mind is important to engineers and helps many graphics engineering professionals solve engineering drawing problems (Deno, 1995; Miller & Bertoline, 1991a, 1991b; Parolini, 1994). In engineering, Miller (1990) and Sorby and Gorska (1998) specialize in the field of visualization research also appears as a subfield of research exploring spatial ability and spatial rotation as a process of mental imagery manipulation. For example, Pellegrino, Alderton and Shute (1984) subdivide spatial ability into two components as spatial relations and spatial visualization with a psychometric measurement of speed, power and complexity of an individual’s spatial manipulations.

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